Montgomery County Council Press Releases & Statements

Councilmember Phil Andrews Named New Chair of Montgomery County’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
  • Release ID: 11-234
  • Release Date: 11/15/2011
  • Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939 or Delphine Harriston240-777-7939
  • From: Council Office
ROCKVILLE, Md., November 15, 2011—Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews has been named the new chair of the County’s Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC).

Councilmember Andrews was elected on Nov. 10 by the 17 voting members of the Council, who serve without compensation and are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. He will serve a one-year term. Former Chair Hannah Sassoon, who coordinates the County’s domestic violence programs, was elected as vice chair.

Councilmember Andrew chairs the County Council’s Public Safety Committee and the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments’ Emergency Preparedness Council and its Incident Management and Response Committee. He has represented the County Council on the DVCC for the past five years.

In its fifth year since its creation, the DVCC has worked to reduce the incidence of domestic violence and create a safe community where families are free of abuse. Former County Councilmembers Marilyn Praisner and Duchy Trachtenberg and the DVCC advocated for creation of the County’s first Family Justice Center, which opened in May 2009 and has served more than 2,000 victims of domestic violence.

“I have long believed in the need to combat the number of domestic violence incidents that happen in our County,” said Councilmember Andrews. “So often, these crimes attract little notice beyond the actual victims—many of whom are afraid or embarrassed to share their stories. That is why we must aggressively work to stop domestic violence—and to be there for the victims when incidents occur. I am honored to be named chair of the committee that does so much to address domestic violence in our County.”

The DVCC membership includes representatives of the County’s courts, State’s Attorney’s office, police department, sheriff’s office, Montgomery County Public Schools (including a student), Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Department of Health and Human Services, Commission on Women, Maryland Division of Parole and Probation and community members. The membership also includes a victim of domestic violence.

One of the DVCC’s chief goals for the next year is to address the issue of teen dating violence. Research shows that as many as one in three teens will experience dating violence—and two-thirds of the victims will never report it.

“The DVCC has achieved much in the five years since it was formed,” said Councilmember Andrews. “We have set recommendations for our priorities for the next year and I hope that, as the organization’s chair, I can help ensure that we continue to address those priorities.”

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